O, the sting of criticism!
Yesterday, a woman I interviewed for a magazine article sent me negative feedback on how I handled the interview. Specifically, she said I should have told her before the interview that her answers may not be included in the article.
She called me inconsiderate. Ouch!
But she’s right. I should have told her in advance that I can’t include all my research and interviews in all my articles. I’m limited by the editors’ assigned word count and the quality of the information I receive.
Writers are supposed to have thick skins…but it still stings to be criticized.
How do you handle criticism? Do get defensive or do you fold like a wet Kleenex? Maybe you’re somewhere in between, like me.
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Here’s how to blossom when you’re criticized:
Build your self-image on the rock-solid foundation of Christ’s love. If you see yourself the way God sees you, the worst criticism loses its power to hurt you. Criticism doesn’t change who you are, how lovable and loved you are, or how valuable your contribution to the world is.
When you stay open and yielding after getting negative feedback, you give yourself the gift of growth. Criticism – as painful as it is – can be an opportunity to learn, flourish, and yes…even blossom.
Now I must attend to my humble pie.
I’ll apologize to my interviewee for not being clear with her from the start, and ensure I don’t make the same mistake again. And my writing will improve – as will my relationships with future interviewees.
May you receive enough critical feedback to help you grow and flourish, but not so much that it destroys your spirit.
Blessings and Blossoms,
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Honest criticism is hard to take, particularly
from a relative, a friend,
an acquaintance, or a stranger.
– Franklin P. Jones